Roche has entered into a U.S.-focused collaboration with Pfizer to drive awareness and educate on the importance of timely COVID-19 testing, available treatment options, symptoms and the high-risk factors that can increase the chance of progressing to severe illness.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly nine out of 10 adults struggle to understand and use personal and public health information because it contains unfamiliar or complex terms. This collaboration aims to simplify and improve access to health information related to COVID-19. On covid19knowmore.com, a Pfizer website, individuals can learn why early testing is important at symptom onset, which health conditions increase the risk of progressing to severe COVID-19 and what treatment options are available.
Individuals who test positive, and are age 50 or older or have certain medical conditions - such as chronic lung disease, heart disease or a weakened immune system - or a sedentary lifestyle, are at high risk of progressing to severe COVID-19.
“Empowering patients to take appropriate action following a positive test result remains critical to reducing spread of the virus and lowering rates of severe infection,” said Thomas Schinecker, CEO of Roche Diagnostics. “As we face another potential winter surge, we are proud to embark on this timely collaboration with Pfizer to improve COVID-19 health literacy among patients in the United States. This exciting initiative may serve as a foundation for future collaborations in many other countries worldwide.”
The Pilot COVID-19 At-Home Test, distributed in the United States by Roche Diagnostics and manufactured by SD Biosensor, will now include a QR code that directs individuals to covid19knowmore.com, where they can learn more about COVID-19, including CDC guidance on testing and treatment options.
“With high numbers of respiratory infections across the country, some of which put people at high-risk for severe illness, there is cause for concern that another surge in COVID-19 cases could dramatically affect the healthcare system as the winter months set in,” said Alejandro Cane, U.S. vaccines and antivirals medical and scientific affairs lead at Pfizer. “This collaboration provides patients who test positive for COVID-19 critical resources that can help them take action against COVID-19, if needed.”
The Pilot COVID-19 At-Home Test is an easy-to-use, accurate and reliable rapid antigen test that delivers results in as few as 20 minutes. It is authorized for the detection of COVID-19 with or without symptoms for individuals ages 14 years and older, and by an adult for children ages 2 to 13 years old. It has been distributed to tens of millions of Americans through the U.S. government’s efforts to expand access to testing earlier this year. The Pilot COVID-19 At-Home Test is available for over-the-counter purchase through select retail channels.
Accurate and timely diagnosis inform appropriate treatment decisions, and can help shorten the length of hospital stays and limit the spread of infections in healthcare settings.
Taking an at-home COVID-19 test is recommended by the CDC when individuals have any COVID-19 symptoms, were exposed to someone with COVID-19 or are going to an indoor event or gathering. If an individual tests negative, they are advised to conduct serial (or repeat) testing. Receiving multiple negative test results increases the confidence that an individual is not infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
In March 2020, Roche became the first company to launch a commercial COVID-19 PCR test running on high-throughput laboratory instruments. The company has developed more than 20 COVID-19 tests and solutions globally, and sold more than 1.8 billion COVID-19 tests worldwide since the beginning of the pandemic. Roche offers high-quality solutions for every setting, from large reference laboratories to at-home testing.